Wednesday, 12 October 2016

August adventures

I didn't start the month off too well, by having a reaction to eating edamame bean salad. I've long suspected a slight intolerance to soya, but the edamame beans had me feeling really sick, after a while bloated, and then with an upset tum. So now I check the labels of bean salads, to make sure there are no edamame beans.
The weather was quite hot, and on the 5th of August, we went for a bike ride. we only did 6.5 miles, I couldn't cope with much more in the heat. The next day it was our daughter's Birthday, and I popped up to see her briefly, and give her her present, as we were going away. We travelled up to see our son and his wife and family, He hasn't been getting weekends off much, but he was to be off on the Monday and Tuesday. We arrived late on the Saturday; we had arranged to stay on a room only basis at the hotel we had stayed in before, as nights at our Son's are often disturbed by light sleeping children. It was cheaper than staying at the local premier lodge.
We had a meal with them, and later went back to the hotel. Our Son was working on the Sunday, but we went there for breakfast then off to church with our Daughter in Law and the children. Elise was going through a very clingy phase, wanting only Mummy, but I did get some cuddles in. After lunch we walked round to the local park with Tom, Ethan took his balance bike. He enjoyed time on the swings before we walked back. It was a warm pleasant day.
Our Son was off on the Monday, so we went to Quarry bank mill. It is an old cotton mill, in a valley on the bank of a river, it is fascinating to see all the old machines and hear the noise that the workers had to put up with It is a National Trust property, so entrance for us was free. Afterwards we took Ethan to the play area for a while, so didn't get to see much of the gardens.  As we drove back, I noticed that the local prison Styal, has a 'Clink' restaurant, where inmates are trained in the restaurant trade, which hopefully reduces re-offending.

On the Tuesday, it wasn't so hectic, we just walked into the town centre, and had lunch, then had a browse before walking back. Our Daughter in law had a previously booked visit planned for the Wednesday, so we had breakfast at the hotel, then a leisurely drive home. It had been lovely to see the grandchildren even if I didn't get a lot of cuddles. They change so much when they are as little as Elise.
Late last year I had an accident with one of my kitchen drawers, when the interior fell apart. I had been trying to replace it ever since but everything I chose either had the wrong runners or some other fault, so I decided to get a made to measure one, this came from a company called Probox. You can choose the wood. When it arrived it was beautifully made. The idea was to fix the old runners to the drawer, but the upper runners had gone missing, I tracked some down at B&Q, online and they arrived in the most enormous box! It took him a while to get going, but husband eventually did the job, so I no longer have an unsightly gap in my kitchen, and less clutter upstairs where the contents had been moved.

We had some very hot days in August,and eventually the last of the fruit was picked,and I started to
cut back the raspberry canes. Nathaniel had a Star Wars party, on one of the days when it rained. We went to tea on his Birthday, and he had a themed cake, R2D2, if I remember rightly.
I was very cross one Sunday to get home form church and find a parcel had been left on top of my bin, in view form the road, so I complained and got the delivery charges refunded. we had a visit to the garden centre, so I could fill in some gaps in my pots, we also had a trip to Watford to get husband's camera repaired. We ventured South one day, to try out the newly tarmacked stretch of the canal bank, but I had knee and hip pain, so we only went as far as Kings Langley.
I also had pains in my head, but these disappeared when I took off my none prescription sunglasses! We needed to mind the children one evening, so took then to the park, when the ice cream man arrived Lydia asked so sweetly, that we all had a Mr Whippy. Oops, I discovered later it was their second ice cream of the day!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

The joys of July

I'm always chasing my tail with this blog these days, hard to believe it started off daily, but so many blogs I once read haven't been updated for years.
The last week in June was spent catching up, sorting the garden, uploading holiday pictures, getting out and about walking. There was not to much washing to catch up on, as I'd kept up with it at the holiday cottage where there was a tumble dryer in the garage. It was a condensing tumble dryer,and one day the stuff just wasn't drying; so we looked at the instructions, and found there was a big tank which pulled out, which was full of water. that had to be emptied for the dryer to be efficient. It's amazing what you learn staying in rented properties.
Nathaniel's sports day was cancelled this year as the field was too wet. On 1st of July husband collected Nathaniel from school, and  later  I collected Lydia from nursery. Their parents had dropped off some of their stuff at our house in the morning before heading off to Stratford upon Avon, to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary, 10 years! Where did that time go? They were going to see A Midsummer Night's Dream, which was supposed to be a surprise for Daughter, but the envelope which had arrived bearing the words RSC, was a bit of a give away.
The children were a little bit excited, sleeping over at Nanna and Grandad's. Nathaniel had done it before, but was too little to remember. I had made fish pie,and they seemed to enjoy what they ate of it. Of course the toyboxes were out again, cluttering our small room, and I read books to them. After they got ready for bed, I read them a story, and prayed with them, then we left them to play quietly, but being in the hottest bedroom in high summer, with light evenings, meant I wasn't too hard on them. After all the next day was a no school day.
Eventually I looked in and both were asleep, in strange positions, and not covered by the duvets.
Next morning I peeped in, and eventually Lydia opened her eyes, and said 'It's Nanna!'
Some time after breakfast, I decided to pop to the supermarket, as our Son and his wife and the children were catching an early Euro train from France. When I arrived back with lunch, they were all here.  The 3 older children having a whale of a time, and baby Elise looking as if she wanted to join in. I got some baby cuddles in, and we managed to squeeze round the table for lunch.
They weren't planning to stay too long, and just as they were about to start getting ready to leave, Daughter and husband arrived. I had a full house!
So there was much catching up, and laughter, just a bit later Lydia came in from the garden, and from the state of her, she had been picking my newly ripened raspberries. She had an accomplice, Ethan.
We went into the garden, only to find raspberries floating in the bird bath. Their parents were struggling to keep straight faces, I summoned up a stern voice and said 'Who has been picking my raspberries?' at which Ethan grabbed his Mum's hand and said 'Let's go now!'
I adore my grandchildren, but had waited so long for those raspberries to ripen. Raspberry soup was not on my menu.
The family made their various departures, and we were left with a little bit too much peace and quiet.
The weather improved and people started having barbecues, with that horrible sickly smell of lighter fuel. Our back door stayed open most of the time, we continued to pick loads of fruit, I got bitten again. I found Aloe Vera gel the most soothing thing.

Bite on ankle

Our Council had the new town centre dancing fountain open in time for the school holidays
We also took a trip to Hitchin Lavender, as the lavender hadn't really been out in Heacham. However this is very different, you pay to go in and they give you a pair of scissors and a large paper bag, and you can fill your bag with lavender. There were lots of people there, we had lunch in the cafe, and afterwards, walking up and down the fields the smell was amazing. If we stood still and quiet, all we could hear was the buzzing and humming of the bees, it was a totally relaxing experience.

Boat being lifted by crane On return from Berkhamsted

We ventured out on our bikes and cycled all the way to Berkhamsted again, but I think I overdid things. We carried on doing lots of walking. Our friends held their annual coffee morning in their garden, so we spent a pleasant time there.